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Woman pleads guilty to lesser charge

This version corrects a story we ran last week

By Judy Reed

A Cedar Springs woman, charged with embezzlement from the Cedar Springs Junior Ball League, pled guilty last week to a lesser charge than she was originally given.

On Monday, June 14, Kathryn Merritt, 38, entered a plea of guilty to embezzlement of less than $200.00 from a nonprofit corporation, which is a misdemeanor, and carries a maximum of 1 year in jail. She originally was facing a felony, and up to 10-years in prison on a charge of embezzling more than $1,000 but less than $20,000.

The investigation got underway last year when Amy Gillette, president of CSJBL, filed an embezzlement complaint. Gillette told investigators that she retrieved bank statements and reviewed deposits and withdrawals, noting several financial discrepancies. 

 Kent County Sheriff’s Deputy Charles Price wrote in a probable cause affidavit that Merritt was interviewed “and confessed that the card was used by her to make purchases that were not approved.’’

The unauthorized transactions topped $24,300, court records show.

Sentencing is August 3. According to Gillette, Merritt is required to submit a lump sum payment of $10,000 at sentencing, an apology letter to the players, families and sponsors, and monthly payments for two years.

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